Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Being Sloane Jacobs

Being Sloane Jacobs
Lauren Morrill
3.0/5.0 stars

My overall impression after reading Being Sloane Jacobs was something like "eh, it was cute". The pacing was steady and the writing was fluid and sometimes it even charmed me a little but  I never fell in love with it. In fairness, I never felt the need to toss it aside either.  I think it lands in that dreaded middle zone where I don't regret reading it but I won't remember it in a couple of months either.

The story is about two girls both named Sloane Jacobs.  Hailing from DC we have Sloane Emily Jacobs who is the daughter of a U.S. senator.  She comes from a well to do family and never has to want for anything but her family lacks the closeness and affection that she craves.  She is a former competitive figure skater who had a bad and very public fall a few years prior and gave up skating.  She has come back to it now but is still having trouble landing her jumps and enjoying it like she used to.  From the other side of the tracks we have Sloane Devon Jacobs.  She is from Philadelphia and a longtime hockey player who is now having problems freezing up during games.  Her mother is away in rehab for alcoholism and though her father is loving they both seem to be having a hard time coping with her absence.  The two Sloanes end up staying in the same hotel while on their way to summer camps for their chosen sport.  The hotel mixes up their bags and the two girls are shocked to find out they have the same name.  Since they are both unhappy with their lives and dreading going to their camps they decide to switch places for the summer.

The plot was definitely a stretch.  I had some trouble in the beginning accepting that these girls could go play a totally different sport that they had never done before convincingly enough to pass for someone who had been doing it for years.  I have legs and the ability to run and kick but if you throw me on a soccer field with people that actually play soccer it's going to be pretty obvious that I'm not one of them.  The plot was also fairly predictable.

I liked both Sloanes pretty equally and the dual POV was handled well.  The side character "friends" served their purpose but I felt like we only got to know them at a surface level.  The love interests did nothing for me.  I didn't dislike them but I didn't feel any attachement to either of the relationships either.  I was also pretty disappointed in the lack of attention paid to the family issues.  It was mentioned but never really covered then all just kind of wrapped up with no real development.

Being Sloane Jacobs is a cute book and it's a quick and easy read.  For me it was just a little too much syrup and not enough substance.  I would recommend it but probably only for younger readers or someone looking for a clean, more disney-fied young adult book.

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